When an adoption involves an out of state order, it can somewhat add complications to the adoption process, but luckily there are rules in place to handle this. For example, the Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (or UCCJEA) does not apply to adoptions per 152.103. Proceedings Governed by Other Law whereby this chapter does not govern an adoption proceeding or a proceeding pertaining to the authorization of emergency medical care for a child. Further, per Texas Family Code 103.001(b), a suit in which adoption is requested may be filed in the county where the child resides or in the county where the petitioners reside, regardless of whether another court has continuing exclusive jurisdiction under Chapter 155. Except as provided by Section 155.201, a court that has continuing exclusive jurisdiction is not required to transfer the suit affecting the parent-child relationship to the court in which the adoption suit is filed.
According to these statutes, as long as the child has resided in the county where the adoption is filed for at least six months, then it is appropriate to file the adoption in that county despite an out of state order existing on custody. However, it is advisable to attach a UCCJEA affidavit to the petition for adoption to state the residences of the child for the past five (5) years and the prior out of state court order affecting the child to apprise the court of the prior order and living situation of the child should they so inquire.
As you can see, an out-of-state adoption can be tricky, so in order to cross the red tape properly, you need expert family law advice. Similarly, the laws on geographic restrictions as they relate to various family law cases are changing regularly, so give us a call at 361-578-7200, option 1, and schedule a time to consult with one of our family law attorneys and get the process started.